Conspiracy theories often produce hypotheses that contradict the prevailing understanding of history or simple facts. 1960s, the psychology major landrum pdf an implication that the theorist is paranoid.
Robert Blaskiewicz rejects such claims, asserting instead that the term has always been derogatory and pointing to examples demonstrating that this has been so since the nineteenth century. A conspiracy theory may take any matter as its subject, but certain subjects attract greater interest than others. Favored subjects include famous deaths, government activities, new technologies, terrorism and questions of alien life. Among the longest-standing and most widely recognized conspiracy theories are notions concerning the assassination of John F.
11 terrorist attacks, as well as numerous theories pertaining to alleged plots for world domination by various groups both real and imaginary. United States of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. According to anthropologists Todd Sanders and Harry G. Americans today gives credence to at least some conspiracy theories. Whether the Web has increased the prevalence of conspiracy theories or not is an open research question.
The “Enemy Outside” refers to theories based on figures alleged to be scheming against a community from without. The “Enemy Within” finds the conspirators lurking inside the nation, indistinguishable from ordinary citizens. The “Enemy Above” involves powerful people manipulating events for their own gain. The “Enemy Below” features the lower classes working to overturn the social order. The “Benevolent Conspiracies” are angelic forces that work behind the scenes to improve the world and help people.
This refers to limited and well-defined events. Such theories pertain to alleged broad objectives such as domination of a country or of the world. According to Barkun, the conspiratorial machinery for such theories is usually simple, with a single evil organization. For Barkun, such theories link multiple alleged conspiracies together hierarchically. At the summit is a distant but all-powerful evil force.
On the other hand, the “deep” conspiracy theorist begins with a hunch, and then seeks out evidence. Rothbard describes this latter activity as a matter of confirming with certain facts one’s initial paranoia. By contrast, the term “Watergate conspiracy theory” is used to refer to a variety of hypotheses in which those convicted in the conspiracy were in fact the victims of a deeper conspiracy. Conspiracy theory conversely posits the existence of secretive coalitions of individuals and speculates on their alleged activities. The use of the word ‘knowledge’ here suggests ways in which conspiracy theory may be considered in relation to legitimate modes of knowing. The relationship between legitimate and illegitimate knowledge, Birchall claims, is closer than common dismissals of conspiracy theory contend.
Conspiracism labels people’s attitudes as well as the type of conspiracy theories that are more global and historical in proportion. The term “conspiracism” was further popularized by academic Frank P. Conspiracism serves the needs of diverse political and social groups in America and elsewhere. It identifies elites, blames them for economic and social catastrophes, and assumes that things will be better once popular action can remove them from positions of power. As such, conspiracy theories do not typify a particular epoch or ideology. Wall Street traders are among the most conspiracy-minded group of people, and ascribes this to the reality of some financial market conspiracies, and to the ability of conspiracy theories to provide necessary orientation in the market’s day-to-day movements.